Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Tony Blair -- Prime Minister for the Whole World

never have much to add whenever the British Prime Minister, TONY BLAIR, says anything. Almost always, I find myself in substantial agreement with his analysis, with his message, and even his emotions, on those issues that bear on the whole world and have such grand consequences for the future of humanity. Besides, he always says things so much more eloquently, cogently and just better than I can ever manage to. So here is a speech, I wish I had written myself, that I want to share with readers of Philippine Commentary. A few hours ago, he addressed the World Affairs Council of Los Angeles and delivered the following speech to which I've merely added a title that wasn't present (via the BBC)

I think that the right honorable Mr. Blair urges us all to think and feel, to reason and to act, as if we were not just English or American, Lebanese or Israeli, Filipino , Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Jew, but first and foremost, citizens of the world. As there are no simple solutions to the complex problems borne of millennial apartheid, political, religious and cultural, likewise it is impossible to unite the world or bring peace and prosperity to it, without choosing from the mutually exclusive in morals, values, ideals, and finding those that will truly bring the greatest good for the greatest number for the longest time. And struggling to fulfill them at any cost, for the alternative is Oblivion.
OUR VALUES ARE WORTH STRUGGLING FOR!
by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair


Overnight, the news came through that as well as continuing conflict in the Lebanon, Britain's armed forces suffered losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. It brings home yet again the extraordinary courage and commitment of our armed forces who risk their lives and in some cases tragically lose them, defending our country's security and that of the wider world. These are people of whom we should be very proud.

I know the US has suffered heavy losses too in Iraq and in Afghanistan. We should never forget how much we owe these people, how great their bravery, and their sacrifice.

I planned the basis of this speech several weeks ago. The crisis in the Lebanon has not changed its thesis. It has brought it into sharp relief.

We will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force.

Arc of extremism

The purpose of the provocation that began the conflict was clear. It was to create chaos, division and bloodshed, to provoke retaliation by Israel that would lead to Arab and Muslim opinion being inflamed, not against those who started the aggression but against those who responded to it.

It is still possible even now to come out of this crisis with a better long-term prospect for the cause of moderation in the Middle East succeeding. But it would be absurd not to face up to the immediate damage to that cause which has been done.

We will continue to do all we can to halt the hostilities. But once that has happened, we must commit ourselves to a complete renaissance of our strategy to defeat those that threaten us. There is an arc of extremism now stretching across the Middle East and touching, with increasing definition, countries far outside that region. To defeat it will need an alliance of moderation, that paints a different future in which Muslim, Jew and Christian; Arab and Western; wealthy and developing nations can make progress in peace and harmony with each other. My argument to you today is this: we will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force, unless we show we are even-handed, fair and just in our application of those values to the world.

Global values

The point is this. This is war, but of a completely unconventional kind.

9/11 in the US, 7/7 in the UK, 11/3 in Madrid, the countless terrorist attacks in countries as disparate as Indonesia or Algeria, what is now happening in Afghanistan and in Indonesia, the continuing conflict in Lebanon and Palestine, it is all part of the same thing. What are the values that govern the future of the world? Are they those of tolerance, freedom, respect for difference and diversity or those of reaction, division and hatred? My point is that this war can't be won in a conventional way. It can only be won by showing that our values are stronger, better and more just, more fair than the alternative. Doing this, however, requires us to change dramatically the focus of our policy.

Unless we re-appraise our strategy, unless we revitalise the broader global agenda on poverty, climate change, trade, and in respect of the Middle East, bend every sinew of our will to making peace between Israel and Palestine, we will not win. And this is a battle we must win.

What is happening today out in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and beyond is an elemental struggle about the values that will shape our future.

It is in part a struggle between what I will call reactionary Islam and moderate, mainstream Islam. But its implications go far wider. We are fighting a war, but not just against terrorism but about how the world should govern itself in the early 21st century, about global values.

Growing movement

The root causes of the current crisis are supremely indicative of this. Ever since September 11, the US has embarked on a policy of intervention in order to protect its and our future security. Hence Afghanistan. Hence Iraq. Hence the broader Middle East initiative in support of moves towards democracy in the Arab world.

The purpose of the terrorism in Iraq is absolutely simple: carnage, causing sectarian hatred, leading to civil war.

The point about these interventions, however, military and otherwise, is that they were not just about changing regimes but changing the values systems governing the nations concerned. The banner was not actually "regime change", it was "values change".

What we have done therefore in intervening in this way, is far more momentous than possibly we appreciated at the time.

Of course the fanatics, attached to a completely wrong and reactionary view of Islam, had been engaging in terrorism for years before September 11. In Chechnya, in India and Pakistan, in Algeria, in many other Muslim countries, atrocities were occurring. But we did not feel the impact directly. So we were not bending our eye or our will to it as we should have. We had barely heard of the Taleban. We rather inclined to the view that where there was terrorism, perhaps it was partly the fault of the governments of the countries concerned.

We were in error. In fact, these acts of terrorism were not isolated incidents. They were part of a growing movement. A movement that believed Muslims had departed from their proper faith, were being taken over by Western culture, were being governed treacherously by Muslims complicit in this takeover, whereas the true way to recover not just the true faith, but Muslim confidence and self esteem, was to take on the West and all its works.

Sometimes political strategy comes deliberatively, sometimes by instinct. For this movement, it was probably by instinct. It has an ideology, a world-view, it has deep convictions and the determination of the fanatic. It resembles in many ways early revolutionary Communism. It doesn't always need structures and command centres or even explicit communication. It knows what it thinks.

Its strategy in the late 1990s became clear. If they were merely fighting with Islam, they ran the risk that fellow Muslims - being as decent and fair-minded as anyone else - would choose to reject their fanaticism. A battle about Islam was just Muslim versus Muslim. They realised they had to create a completely different battle in Muslim minds: Muslim versus Western.

This is what September 11 did. Still now, I am amazed at how many people will say, in effect, there is increased terrorism today because we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. They seem to forget entirely that September 11 predated either. The West didn't attack this movement. We were attacked. Until then we had largely ignored it.

Existential battles

The reason I say our response was even more momentous than it seemed at the time, is this. We could have chosen security as the battleground. But we didn't. We chose values. We said we didn't want another Taleban or a different Saddam. Rightly, in my view, we realised that you can't defeat a fanatical ideology just by imprisoning or killing its leaders; you have to defeat its ideas.

There is a host of analysis written about mistakes made in Iraq or Afghanistan, much of it with hindsight but some of it with justification. But it all misses one vital point. The moment we decided not to change regime but to change the value system, we made both Iraq and Afghanistan into existential battles for reactionary Islam. We posed a threat not to their activities simply, but to their values, to the roots of their existence.

We committed ourselves to supporting moderate, mainstream Islam. In almost pristine form, the battles in Iraq or Afghanistan became battles between the majority of Muslims in either country who wanted democracy and the minority who realise that this rings the death-knell of their ideology.

What is more, in doing this, we widened the definition of reactionary Islam. It is not just Al-Qaeda who felt threatened by the prospect of two brutal dictatorships - one secular, one religious - becoming tolerant democracies. Any other country who could see that change in those countries might result in change in theirs, immediately also felt under threat. Syria and Iran, for example. No matter that previously, in what was effectively another political age, many of those under threat hated each other. Suddenly new alliances became formed under the impulsion of the common threat.

So in Iraq, Syria allowed Al-Qaeda operatives to cross the border. Iran has supported extremist Shia there. The purpose of the terrorism in Iraq is absolutely simple: carnage, causing sectarian hatred, leading to civil war.

Arc of extremism


However, there was one cause which, the world over, unites Islam, one issue that even the most westernised Muslims find unjust and, perhaps worse, humiliating: Palestine. Here a moderate leadership was squeezed between its own inability to control the radical elements and the political stagnation of the peace process. When Prime Minister Sharon took the brave step of disengagement from Gaza, it could have been and should have been the opportunity to re-start the process. But the squeeze was too great and as ever because these processes never stay still, instead of moving forward, it fell back. Hamas won the election. Even then, had moderate elements in Hamas been able to show progress, the situation might have been saved. But they couldn't.

So the opportunity passed to reactionary Islam and they seized it: first in Gaza, then in Lebanon. They knew what would happen. Their terrorism would provoke massive retaliation by Israel. Within days, the world would forget the original provocation and be shocked by the retaliation. They want to trap the moderates between support for America and an Arab street furious at what they see nightly on their television. This is what has happened.

For them, what is vital is that the struggle is defined in their terms: Islam versus the West; that instead of Muslims seeing this as about democracy versus dictatorship, they see only the bombs and the brutality of war, and sent from Israel.

In this way, they hope that the arc of extremism that now stretches across the region, will sweep away the fledgling but faltering steps modern Islam wants to take into the future.

Religious oligarchy

To turn all of this around requires us first to perceive the nature of the struggle we are fighting and secondly to have a realistic strategy to win it. At present we are challenged on both fronts.

It is about hearts and minds, about inspiring people, persuading them, showing them what our values at their best stand for.

As to the first, it is almost incredible to me that so much of Western opinion appears to buy the idea that the emergence of this global terrorism is somehow our fault. For a start, it is indeed global. No-one who ever half bothers to look at the spread and range of activity related to this terrorism can fail to see its presence in virtually every major nation in the world. It is directed at the United States and its allies, of course. But it is also directed at nations who could not conceivably be said to be allies of the West. It is also rubbish to suggest that it is the product of poverty. It is true it will use the cause of poverty. But its fanatics are hardly the champions of economic development. It is based on religious extremism. That is the fact. And not any religious extremism, but a specifically Muslim version.

What it is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is not about those countries' liberation from US occupation. It is actually the only reason for the continuing presence of our troops. And it is they not us who are doing the slaughter of the innocent and doing it deliberately.

Its purpose is explicitly to prevent those countries becoming democracies and not "Western style" democracies, any sort of democracy. It is to prevent Palestine living side by side with Israel; not to fight for the coming into being of a Palestinian state, but for the going out of being, of an Israeli state. It is not wanting Muslim countries to modernise but to retreat into governance by a semi-feudal religious oligarchy.

Israeli predicament


Yet despite all of this, which I consider virtually obvious, we look at the bloodshed in Iraq and say that's a reason for leaving, we listen to the propaganda that tells us it's all because of our suppression of Muslims and have parts of our opinion seriously believing that if we only got out of Iraq and Afghanistan, it would all stop.

And most contemporaneously, and in some ways most perniciously, a very large and, I fear, growing part of our opinion looks at Israel, and thinks we pay too great a price for supporting it and sympathises with Muslim opinion that condemns it. Absent from so much of the coverage, is any understanding of the Israeli predicament.

I, and any halfway sentient human being, regards the loss of civilian life in Lebanon as unacceptable, grieves for that nation, is sickened by its plight and wants the war to stop now. But just for a moment, put yourself in Israel's place. It has a crisis in Gaza, sparked by the kidnap of a soldier by Hamas. Suddenly, without warning, Hezbollah who have been continuing to operate in southern Lebanon for two years in defiance of UN Resolution 1559, cross the UN blue line, kill eight Israeli soldiers and kidnap two more. They then fire rockets indiscriminately at the civilian population in northern Israel.

Hezbollah gets their weapons from Iran. Iran are now also financing militant elements in Hamas. Iran's president has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map". And he's trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. Just to complete the picture, Israel's main neighbour along its eastern flank is Syria who support Hezbollah and house the hardline leaders of Hamas.

It's not exactly a situation conducive to a feeling of security, is it?

But the central point is this. In the end, even the issue of Israel is just part of the same, wider struggle for the soul of the region. If we recognised this struggle for what it truly is, we would be at least along the first steps of the path to winning it. But a vast part of the Western opinion is not remotely near this yet.

Self-evident challenges

Whatever the outward manifestation at any one time - in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Iraq and add to that in Afghanistan, in Kashmir, in a host of other nations including now some in Africa - it is a global fight about global values; it is about modernisation, within Islam and outside of it; it is about whether our value system can be shown to be sufficiently robust, true, principled and appealing that it beats theirs. Islamist extremism's whole strategy is based on a presumed sense of grievance that can motivate people to divide against each other. Our answer has to be a set of values strong enough to unite people with each other.

This is not just about security or military tactics. It is about hearts and minds, about inspiring people, persuading them, showing them what our values at their best stand for.

Just to state it in these terms, is to underline how much we have to do. Convincing our own opinion of the nature of the battle is hard enough. But we then have to empower moderate, mainstream Islam to defeat reactionary Islam. And because so much focus is now, world-wide on this issue, it is becoming itself a kind of surrogate for all the other issues the rest of the world has with the West. In other words, fail on this and across the range, everything gets harder.

Why are we not yet succeeding? Because we are not being bold enough, consistent enough, thorough enough, in fighting for the values we believe in.

We start this battle with some self-evident challenges. Iraq's political process has worked in an extraordinary way. But the continued sectarian bloodshed is appalling: and threatens its progress deeply. In Afghanistan, the Taleban are making a determined effort to return and using the drugs trade a front. Years of anti-Israeli and therefore anti-American teaching and propaganda has left the Arab street often wildly divorced from the practical politics of their governments. Iran and, to a lesser extent, Syria are a constant source of de-stabilisation and reaction.

The purpose of terrorism - whether in Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon or Palestine is never just the terrorist act itself. It is to use the act to trigger a chain reaction, to expunge any willingness to negotiate or compromise. Unfortunately it frequently works, as we know from our own experience in Northern Ireland, though thankfully the huge progress made in the last decade there, shows that it can also be overcome.

So, short-term, we can't say we are winning. But, there are many reasons for long-term optimism. Across the Middle East, there is a process of modernisation as well as reaction. It is unnoticed but it is there: in the UAE, in Bahrain, in Kuwait, in Qatar. In Egypt, there is debate about the speed of change but not about its direction. In Libya and Algeria, there is both greater stability and a gradual but significant opening up.

Most of all, there is one incontrovertible truth that should give us hope. In Iraq, in Afghanistan, and of course in the Lebanon, any time that people are permitted a chance to embrace democracy, they do so. The lie - that democracy, the rule of law, human rights are Western concepts, alien to Islam - has been exposed. In countries as disparate as Turkey and Indonesia, there is an emerging strength in moderate Islam that should greatly encourage us.

Two-state solution

So the struggle is finely poised. The question is: how do we empower the moderates to defeat the extremists?

Our values... represent humanity's progress throughout the ages and at each point we have had to fight for them.

First, naturally, we should support, nurture, build strong alliances with all those in the Middle East who are on the modernising path.

Secondly, we need, as President Bush said on Friday, to re-energise the MEPP between Israel and Palestine, and we need to do it in a dramatic and profound manner.

I want to explain why I think this issue is so utterly fundamental to all we are trying to do. I know it can be very irritating for Israel to be told that this issue is of cardinal importance, as if it is on their shoulders that the weight of the troubles of the region should always fall. I know also their fear that in our anxiety for wider reasons to secure a settlement, we sacrifice the vital interests of Israel.

Let me make it clear. I would never put Israel's security at risk.

Instead I want, what we all now acknowledge we need: a two-state solution. The Palestinian state must be independent, viable but also democratic and not threaten Israel's safety.

This is what the majority of Israelis and Palestinians want.

Its significance for the broader issue of the Middle East and for the battle within Islam, is this. The real impact of a settlement is more than correcting the plight of the Palestinians. It is that such a settlement would be the living, tangible, visible proof that the region and therefore the world can accommodate different faiths and cultures, even those who have been in vehement opposition to each other. It is, in other words, the total and complete rejection of the case of reactionary Islam. It destroys not just their most effective rallying call, it fatally undermines their basic ideology.

And, for sure, it empowers moderate, mainstream Islam enormously. They are able to point to progress as demonstration that their allies, ie us, are even-handed not selective, do care about justice for Muslims as much as Christians or Jews.

But, and it is a big but, this progress will not happen unless we change radically our degree of focus, effort and engagement, especially with the Palestinian side. In this the active leadership of the US is essential but so also is the participation of Europe, of Russia and of the UN. We need relentlessly, vigorously, to put a viable Palestinian government on its feet, to offer a vision of how the Roadmap to final status negotiation can happen and then pursue it, week in, week out, 'til it's done. Nothing else will do. Nothing else is more important to the success of our foreign policy.

Third, we need to see Iraq through its crisis and out to the place its people want: a non-sectarian, democratic state. The Iraqi and Afghan fight for democracy is our fight. Same values. Same enemy. Victory for them is victory for us all.

Fourth, we need to make clear to Syria and Iran that there is a choice: come in to the international community and play by the same rules as the rest of us; or be confronted. Their support of terrorism, their deliberate export of instability, their desire to see wrecked the democratic prospect in Iraq, is utterly unjustifiable, dangerous and wrong. If they keep raising the stakes, they will find they have miscalculated.

'Wider debate'

From the above it is clear that from now on, we need a whole strategy for the Middle East. If we are faced with an arc of extremism, we need a corresponding arc of moderation and reconciliation. Each part is linked. Progress between Israel and Palestine affects Iraq. Progress in Iraq affects democracy in the region. Progress for moderate, mainstream Islam anywhere puts reactionary Islam on the defensive everywhere. But none of it happens unless in each individual part the necessary energy and commitment is displayed not fitfully, but continuously.

I said at the outset that the result of this struggle had effects wider than the region itself. Plainly that applies to our own security. This global Islamist terrorism began in the Middle East. Sort the Middle East and it will inexorably decline. The read-across, for example, from the region to the Muslim communities in Europe is almost instant.

But there is a less obvious sense in which the outcome determines the success of our wider world-view. For me, a victory for the moderates means an Islam that is open: open to globalisation, open to working with others of different faiths, open to alliances with other nations.

In this way, this struggle is in fact part of a far wider debate.

Though left and right still matter in politics, the increasing divide today is between open and closed. Is the answer to globalisation, protectionism or free trade?

Is the answer to the pressure of mass migration, managed immigration or closed borders?

Is the answer to global security threats, isolationism or engagement?

Those are very big questions for US and for Europe.

Modern realpolitik

Without hesitation, I am on the open side of the argument. The way for us to handle the challenge of globalisation is to compete better, more intelligently, more flexibly. We have to give our people confidence we can compete. See competition as a threat and we are already on the way to losing.

Immigration is the toughest issue in Europe right now and you know something of it here in California. People get scared of it for understandable reasons. It needs to be controlled. There have to be rules. Many of the conventions dealing with it post-WWII are out of date. All that is true. But, properly managed, immigrants give a country dynamism, drive, new ideas as well as new blood.

And as for isolationism, that is a perennial risk in the US and EU policy. My point here is very simple: global terrorism means we can't opt-out even if we wanted to. The world is inter-dependent. To be engaged is only modern realpolitik.

But we only win people to these positions if our policy is not just about interests but about values, not just about what is necessary but about what is right.

'Shameful poverty'

Which brings me to my final reflection about US policy. My advice is: always be in the lead, always at the forefront, always engaged in building alliances, in reaching out, in showing that whereas unilateral action can never be ruled out, it is not the preference.

How we get a sensible, balanced but effective framework to tackle climate change after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 should be an American priority.

America wants a low-carbon economy, it is investing heavily in clean technology, it needs China and India to grow substantially. The world is ready for a new start here. Lead it.

The same is true for the WTO talks, now precariously in the balance, or for Africa, whose poverty is shameful.

If we are championing the cause of development in Africa, it is right in itself but it is also sending the message of moral purpose, that reinforces our value system as credible in all other aspects of policy.

It serves one other objective. There is a risk that the world, after the Cold War, goes back to a global policy based on spheres of influence. Think ahead. Think China, within 20 or 30 years, surely the world's other super-power. Think Russia and its precious energy reserves. Think India. I believe all of these great emerging powers want a benign relationship with the West.

But I also believe that the stronger and more appealing our world-view is, the more it is seen as based not just on power but on justice, the easier it will be for us to shape the future in which Europe and the US will no longer, economically or politically, be transcendent. Long before then, we want moderate, mainstream Islam to triumph over reactionary Islam.

That is why I say this struggle is one about values. Our values are worth struggling for. They represent humanity's progress throughout the ages and at each point we have had to fight for them and defend them. As a new age beckons, it is time to fight for them again.
Hear! Hear!

55 comments:

HILLBLOGGER said...

Hey Dean, this ain't news. The UK knows that good old Scot Tony Blair is George Bush's prime minister.

Tell you what, he will have the satisfaction of feeling appreciated coz things aren't as bright for him in Europe.

Btw, as you know Blair's on his way out in the UK. He'll be unemployed soon and when he's finally booted out, I reckon the US will be able to officially hire him as ambassador. Tell you what, if he'd made that speech in the UK, he would've been booed.

Also, rumors are rife in the UK that Socialist Tony Blair is about to sign hefty deals with a US publishing company, one of the reasons he's in CA and I suppose that's gonna make him a multimillionaire on top of which he is apparently consolidating his investments in the US. (Read that in UK's The Times or in The Guardian.) Anyway, I say good on him.

He'll need loads of money for his defence expenses coz when he comes back home, he's gonna be facing criminal investigations for the undeclared "loans" he secured for his party's campaign expenses as well as to fight a looming criminal charge of peerage exchange for loans involving Lord Levy notably.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Reactions or How the UK sees the Blair speech:

From The Times August 02, 2006

We must rethink the War on Terror -Blair
By Rosemary Bennett in Los Angeles and David Charter

New strategy needed to defeat militant Islam

Downing Street rift with Foreign Office over Israel

FIVE years into the War on Terror, Tony Blair called yesterday for a “complete renaissance of our strategy” to defeat militant Islam.

Speaking in Los Angeles, the Prime Minister admitted that the use of force alone had alienated Muslim opinion, and said that there was now an “arc of extremism” stretching across the Middle East and beyond. He called for an “alliance of moderation” that would combat terrorism using values as much as military might.

On a day when four British soldiers were killed by insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Prime Minister’s words were an apparent admission that the use of military force alone had failed.

To read more: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2295604,00.html

HILLBLOGGER said...

From the Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/

We must rethink our strategy says PM
Tony Blair admitted that the US and Britain were losing the battle for mainstream Muslim and Arab opinion.

HILLBLOGGER said...

From The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/syria/story/0,,1835385,00.html

Blair: Middle East strategy is not working

Patrick Wintour in Los Angeles
Wednesday August 2, 2006
The Guardian


Tony Blair called for a fundamental reappraisal of British and US foreign policy yesterday, admitting that excessive emphasis on military power and failure to address the Palestinian issue had left the west losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Middle East.

Rizalist said...

HB,
I'm on the lookout for speeches like this by world leaders that some of us admire and which we think has merit both in what is said, and how it is said. I realize this puts a bias on English language pieces, but if you are aware of any such pieces, please point me to them so I can publish them here, or link to them on your own blog. Thanks!

HILLBLOGGER said...

Opinion: At last, Tony's perfect role
By Alice Miles http://www.timesonline.co.uk/comment
If Mr Blair accepts Arnie’s offer of a film part, it will be a fitting end to his journey into fantasy

HILLBLOGGER said...

I suggest that you publish Olmert's speech of yesterday's or was it two days ago? I read it in French and too difficult to translate. But I'm sure there's an English translation somewhere.

I mean that got him almost 95% approval rating in Israel or so I heard.

(Dean, one more thing, I don't admire Tony Blair; i've toldya that. I'm a Tory card holder to boot! He's a leftist who espouses ultra-right wing iedologies, Tory ideals, to get himself elected - he's a hypocrite. I suppose it's fine for some but not for others.)

Rizalist said...

Anna,
From the last thread you said, ...maybe you got a different take on how to end the conflict between the Hezbollahs and Israel...?

In the short run there is no question that an international peacekeeping force will have to come in to uhmm keep the peace. But what are the necessary steps while there is such a peace being kept by the international community.

I think that the disarming of Hezbollah is the only principled means by which Hezbollah even remotely stands a chance of being considered legitimate, unless we want to legitimize private armies.

I am not convinced that the nonstate actors that have states and governments like Lebanon by the throat would do the same, even if Israel herself never stepped foot outside her borders.

But I am convinced that if all attacks on her were denounced instead of funded by the Arab states and her right to exist accepted, she would NOT be attacking Lebanon or any other Arab country.

Under what conditions would YOU have the same confidence in Hezbollah.
What do you say Israel or the world must do for all of us to have that confidence in Hezbollah, Hamas, AQ, Iran, or Syria?

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

I believe that if the latest French proposed resolution in the UN has the backing of all the powerful nations in the world, i.e., G8 and a few others, we could achieve some form of stability. I read it in French to me it seems to contain all the ingredients, including military options as it calls for the TOTAL DISARMING of Hezbollah, other militias and what have you in the region.

Agree that a UN peacekeeping force will be useless unless all of the G8s, including China (which supplies a lot of military components to Iran) make a united stand to support the proposed UN forces. Furthermore, these forces must be allowed to return fire no question about it.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Hello, you there? oops.. testing!

HILLBLOGGER said...

Funny, you're pretty much assuming I have confidence in all those groups. Has it occured to you that the the person I might have no confidence in is Bush? That to me, he is 'helping' in the 'extremization' and the increasing of fanaticism by these fanatics instead of helping quash them?

It's as if criticising Israel is equating it with anti-semitism. Wrong!

We all have the same goal/s (well, I suppose we do) that is to "export" democracy to regions we believe are "undemocratic" but with a varying degree in methodologies as to how to bring that about.

Just read what your friend wrote. I suppose he's pretty much of a proponent for democracy yet he writes, "you won't win".

Rizalist said...

The total disarming of Hezbollah will also require the prevention of resupply by Iran and Syria...and yes China. That gets touchier since the US also supplies arms to Israel. In fact all the G8 nations probably supply arms to someone. What principle do we apply here. I doubt that the TOTAL DISARMAMENT of everyone is possible since a peacekeeping force has to be armed and "dangerous" as you suggest, ie they can shoot back. Does it not require at least a temporary siding with the armed powers that we "trust"?

HILLBLOGGER said...

Frankly, I don't know Dean.

I feel that the sooner the G8s and the members of the Security Council (China included) get on stage to form a united front, the better it is to avoid more wars by proxy because there is a realistic danger that if these wars by proxy continue, we will end up with a WWIII.

manuelbuencamino said...

Blair should pay attention to what those on the ground have to say.

Osama says :

"It is allowed for Muslims to kill protected ones among unbelievers in the event of an attack against them in which it is not possible to differentiate the protected ones from the combatants or from the strongholds. It is permissible to kill them incidentally and unintentionally according to the saying of the Prophet. When he was asked, as in al-Bukhari, about the offspring and women of unbelievers who stayed with the unbelievers and were killed, he said, 'They are from among them.’ This indicates the permission to kill women and children because of their fathers if they can not be distinguished. In the account of Muslim he said, 'They are from their fathers.'"

"It is allowed for Muslims to kill protected ones among unbelievers on the condition that the protected ones have assisted in combat, whether in deed, word, mind, or any other form of assistance, according to the prophetic command. This is what happened at the time of Abu Dawud and others who were involved in the murder of Duraid Ibn al-Samma. When he was 120 years old he went out with the Hawazin tribe to advise them. They consulted him on battle procedure and he went from being a protected one to being a target because of his advice regarding the war against Islam. 

"It is allowed for Muslims to kill protected ones among unbelievers in the event of a need to burn the strongholds or fields of the enemy so as to weaken its strength in order to conquer the stronghold or topple the state. It is permissible even if protected ones are among the victims, as the Prophet did among the Bani Nadir."

Yesha Rabbinical Council says :

"According to Jewish law, during a time of battle and war, there is no such term as 'innocents' of the enemy. All of the discussions on Christian morality are weakening the spirit of the army and the nation and are costing us in the blood of our soldiers and civilians."

Israeli Justice Minister Haim Ramon:

"All those now in south Lebanon are terrorists who are related in some way to Hezbollah." -

Makes one think that Tony Blair is talking through his ass.

HILLBLOGGER said...

There's a great danger that there are fanatics on both sides. Interesting readings on Judaism and democracy from pro_con.org:

Israel Shahak, Professor Emeritus at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in a 1994 book entitled Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years stated the following:


"Judaism, especially in its classical form, is totalitarian in nature. The behavior of supporters of other totalitarian ideologies of our times was not different from that of the organized Jews... Their support of democracy or of human rights is therefore meaningless or even harmful and deceitful."
1994 Israel Shahak

Meir Kahane, Rabbi, in an interview entitled "G~d’s Law: an Interview with Rabbi Meir Kahane," published in a book entitled Israel's Ayatollahs: Meir Kahane and the Far Right in Israel, stated:


"Let me say it again: democracy and Judaism are two opposite things. One absolutely cannot confuse them. The objective of a democratic state is to allow a person to do exactly as he wishes. The objective of Judaism is to G~d and to make people better. These are two totally opposite conceptions of life."
1985 Meir Kahane

Susan Hattis Rolef, Former Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in an e-mail response to ProCon.org on 06/19/06, wrote:

Amongst the various Jewish streams the most ultra Orthodox ones have the greatest problem with the principles of democracy, and the most liberal Reform and Conservative ones have the least problem. The problem that Orthodox Judaism has with democracy manifests itself in Israel with the objection of the ultra Orthodox parties in the Knesset to a secular Constitution as a supreme law, which by definition would be considered superior to the Halacha - the religious law. The ultra Orthodox parties also have a problem with human rights legislation based on universal democratic principles, even though Judaism, since the days of the bible, has had its own concept of human rights.

AmericanPainter said...

Dean,

Blair gave an excellent speech and nailed the problems and what must be done. But.....the folks that are against EVERYTHING ALWAYS are out in force! Apparently they have superior answers to the existing problems....wonder when they are going to present THEIR OWN PLAN! All I heard from your friends are their criticisms rather than what should be done?

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

As one of your friends, I believe you will agree with me when I say that I had already espoused for a separate, independent state for the displaced Palestinians all along the previous thread. (I've always believed that it is one way to stabilize the region.)

I believe that the French-proposed resolution to the UN is workable, i.e., UN world force, 2 states: a homeland, distict and inviolate for the Palestinians and Israel

What about you and your friends? I haven't really heard anything tangible with regards to what should be done from either you or your friends.

The Bystander said...

DJB,

"XXX I find myself in substantial agreement with his analysis, with his message, and even his emotions, on those issues that bear on the whole world and have such grand consequences for the future of humanity."

--You mean to say you were in substantial agreement with the lies and half-truths he and big brother Bush spread about the alleged presence of WsMD in Iraq?

The Bystander said...

"We will not win the battle against this global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as force. --Tony Blair"

--Ya, he and Bush will not win the battle for the hearts and minds of the people if they continue to lie and impose their self-righteousness on other people's of the world. I'm sorry Dean, but Tony Blair is one opportunistic sidekick of an equally deplorable warfreak U.S. President.

Rizalist said...

The Bystander,
At least you do not deny the possibility that our values CAN win the hearts and minds of humanity, as they have since 1776 and even long before that. The big question is, what can win the hearts and minds of "the enemy"? Or is world war inevitable. We cannot assume that because we cannot win the hearts and minds of some that we are wrong, or that all hearts and minds are pure and well-intentioned. There ARE just wars, to which the only alternative was the destruction of many more hearts and minds.

It is perhaps the idealism that ALL hearts and minds CAN be won that is the most lethal of all idealisms. It is simply false.

Karl M. Garcia said...

All hearts and minds can not be won,indeed is ideal,therefore not real.
As to its being simply false,it has to be called real first.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Now we are back with paradoxes and oxymorons.

I saw hanging discussion on collateral damage is it a paradox?

Collateral can not be only one side,if collateral is only one side then it is an oxymoron.

It takes two sides to make a collateral or a parallel.or it takes to lines to draw a parallel.

ricelander said...

Global values: Who defines them? Didn't the US and Great Britain trangressed those values too one time or another against other people?

Extremism: I wonder from what emotions such extremism spring. Religion? Or is there some genetic abnormality that make a race prone to irrational violence? Or did it spring from an injustice of the past? Interesting study isn't it? like, how did HB and APs exchange degenerated into harsh word war in your previous entry. If only we could give them access to a nuke arsenal, it would be interesting experiment on how wars begin and end(hehehe.

US interventionism: Would wee rather that US kept away from world conflicts? I find that a difficult question. But when she should, the issue will always be about legitimacy: just from where in heaven did she derive the mandate? If everything goes right-- fine;if something goes wrong---what? Take Iraq. We rightfully rejoice that Saddam Hussein is in prison and the Iraqis are free from tyranny now-- but the country is now in the brink of anarchy. Another, US is poised to act on North Korea and Iran for their nuclear experiments. But by what moral authority is the US justified when she herself and some allies have hundred of them stocked in their her arsenals?

Just thinking.

Karl M. Garcia said...

We think,therefore we are.

Since, well known and respected analysts resort to paradoxes and oxymorons to make a statement.Why can't we?

It is unfortunate that might makes right.

Moral authority is relative.

It is like saying that I know I am right and the others are all wrong for thinking and saying that I am wrong.

Now back to paradoxes.

Rizalist said...

Hillblogger,

I guess I don't understand your point about Judaism and Democracy, since everything you say about Judaism applies to most religions, but especially Christianity, and certainly to "classical" Christianity. What perhaps you ignore is the ability of religions to EVOLVE. The ability to evolve is what I consider "corrigibility," a virtue which does not seem to exist in some religions.

Christianity and Judaism have certainly evolved to stage where they accept Democracy under the rubric of Separation of Church and State. I don't think it can be denied that Islam prospers where Democracy reigns far better than Christianity does in places that are not democratic.

I have said it before: Democracy keeps religions from killing each other and enforces peaceful coexistence among them by regarding all religions as expressions of the basic freedom of speech and assembly, which are constitutionally guaranteed. But all religions in a democracy must accept the basic quid pro quo: only the State can wield State power in exchange for untrammelled belief, practice and expression of religion.

That of course is the big difference with places like Lebanon, where radical Islam has "democracy" by the throat, and even the State says it cannot do anything about the large private religous army that is terrorizing its neighbors under the guise of fighting for freedom. Freedom for what? To massacre any who are "kuffar" --gentiles, strangers to Islam.

In the last sense, Islam does not accept democracy, Judaism and Christianity do!

Rizalist said...

MB,
You can do far better arguments than that! I know you can!

Rizalist said...

Ricelander:

EVOLUTION!

Regarding nuclear weapons and nonproliferation: you understand nothing!

Possession of the secret of the stars is not a "right" that anyone possesses like freedom of speech or self-defense.
It is an accident of discovery by science. The weaponization of the secret was the result of a justified fear that Hitler would get there before the West did.

It is insane to claim that Iran has a right to nuclear weapons because the West possesses the secret already and has many nuclear weapons.

That would be like saying we should distribute matches to everyone who is locked in the shed of dynamite.

The immeasurable peril you are promoting with unexamined ideological proclamations is called the End of the World!

And that is why I say: God Bless America and God Save the King!

ricelander said...

Yeah, I understand nothing; can't help it.

It's the moral dilemma I am presenting.

But it's worth pondering about: if the nukes were developed for fear of Hitler, wouldn't it make sense to destroy all nukes now to set a good example, now that Hitler, the justification, is gone? If you are "locked in the shed of dynamites" and everyone wants to have matches because I have one, I would throw mine away out of everyone's reach, not insist on having one while smashing the faces of the rest.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Re your God Bless America and God Save the King!

Strange

Has Bush become American king

And no am not ignorant of the fact that religions EVOLVE but many men in religious robes have not

manuelbuencamino said...

DJB,

Arguing over Tony Blair is a waste of time for me. I think he is one slimy SOB whose bended knees approach to Bush makes me wonder if he enjoys that position relative to members of his own sex. I would describe his speech as - "Brokeback World View"

HILLBLOGGER said...

MB,

Malcolm Rifkind, MP for Kensington and Chelsea, and Foreign Secretary, 1995-97, will agree with you.

He writes in The Independent,
"Tony Blair likes to adopt a moralistic tone and to suggest that modern foreign policy must be about values and not just about realpolitik and national interest. Of course, he is right, and no democratic politician would disagree with him.

"His failure has not been due to his beliefs or values. It has been because both he and President Bush have been incompetent and arrogant in the execution of policy. They have rejected or ignored the accumulated experience of many of their closest advisors; they have preferred their instincts and the views of their ideological soulmates, many of whom know little of the Middle East, its culture and its history. The result is that moderates throughout the region are desolate and depressed while the extremists and terrorists think things are going their way.

"Tony Blair, despite his political brilliance and his undoubted popularity with the American people, has become a liability and not an asset for the UK. He may have the courage of his convictions, and some of these convictions are quite persuasive. But he is pursuing them with a blind enthusiasm that ignores the harsh evidence of previous failed initiatives and which, no longer, commands the support, or even the respect, of most of the world."

Rizalist said...

HB,
The American people and history will decide the fate of GWB and a judgment of his turn at the helm. It is the people's will that is the King. That that turn is strictly limited to 8 years max is both an advantage and disadvantage. But what endures is democracy and the possibility of evolution which those who do not agree with democracy wish to end. I do not worship any man, but we must respect the mechanism by which we choose our leaders, and depose them.

Evolution works as a successive approximation to the ideals that all men hold. Though we shall always differ over what turn we must take next, what is discernible is the general direction of the overall trajectory.

We ought to choose social systems and leaders according to that ascent.

Rizalist said...

MB,
You can do better than ad hominem! Disdain is not enough. But I respect passion. Properly reined in, it is a great force. But without reason it is blind fury that blinds us even more. I cannot pretend to know the answers to these complex questions, and hope to be humble enough when I am proven wrong by my own conscience. But just as science does not pretend to know the answers to many mysteries either, there are methods and means of exploring them that have proven to be effective before. I do not raise Tony Blair up to some kind of throne -- only the ideals that he espouses, to give our whirling, vacillating compasses, a magnetic pole to seek!

Karl M. Garcia said...

"That would be like saying we should distribute matches to everyone who is locked in the shed of dynamite."


That scenario is for shifting the burden, or onus whachamacolit.

for that to happen,one must posses the matches and so that no one blame him if they all blow up and die together,he would distribute them to everybody.

Throwing is not the solution for this one because some may find it,with all the ingenuities of man's mind.

I would swallow the matches instead.


Getting rid of all the nukes reminds me of Superman II the movie,where superman throws em all to the sun.

And again that match dynamite scenario made me think Spiderman,of that with Power comes great reponsibility.

So for those who think that those with power possess great responsibility,then fine.

And for those who thinks and says otherwise,pray your Hail Maries!

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

Re: "The American people and history will decide the fate of GWB and a judgment of his turn at the helm."

I think you will find that I have also said pretty much the same thing in one of my comments in a previous thread.

Rizalist said...

Hillblogger,

I know you've got this point down pat, Anna. But it took me a long, long time to get to it myself: that much as we admire or detest individual men because all men are flawed and the greatest of them often have the greatest flaws, it is what they do for the overall march upward that we must evaluate.

GWB's greatest contribution in the long run will, imo, be the democratization of the Middle East, just like the generation of WW2 accomplished the democratization of Central Europe and East Asia, and of Ronald Reagan that of Eastern Europe. Yet in their own times these men were not exactly beloved of all idealists and ideologues.

But in confronting terrorism, just as those previous generations had confronted fascism and communism, GWB also confronts radical Islam, whose "left wing" I think of as Al Qaeda and the nonstate actors it spawned, and whose "right wing" was typified by Saddam Hussein and includes current "allies" like Saudi Arabia. The latter better see the writing on the wall in Iraq.

For all the difficulties and troubles there now, the future is bright for Iraq, in my opionion because they cannot turn back. America cannot allow them to turn back. They must move forward, and as they do, they will be like a stone atop a mountain that starts an inexorable avalanche.

I am confident that the horrors of the present will convince all men of good will to strive for solutions that are favored by the great powers. We are lucky that the greatest powers in the US and the UK are not the fascists or the communists or the terrorists. Their societies are models that envy and emulation ought to be adopted.

Just as in Asia, just as in Europe, I am confident that these examples of working democracy and advancing prosperity cannot but win over troglodyte societies like Iran and Syria. They will win not only by force of arms (which is necessary but not sufficient) but also by example.

Even those who criticize the West the most, know her ultimate capacity for good. That is why they are criticizing with such passion, because they secretly know that is where the greatest hope actually lies and not in those others. They have so much faith in America and democracy, that they think they can actually do better than Bush and Blair. But I doubt that anyone could claim they could do it without America and the West and the values her people uphold.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Dean,

I think I've known from the outset how you feel about Bush and told you so on the phone. I don't want us to fight because of Bush. To me he ain't worthy of another war, even of a word war. Same way I feel about Tony Blair and Joma Sison.

Let's put it this way: I agree to what you've said to a certain extent. But allow me this largesse: Let's wait for the future pages of history to judge Bush, the leader, the president, the man. As I said, there is no doubt historians will write on the events on the American invasion of Iraq and how Bush circumvented legalities to enforce his gung-ho aspirations for and on the world.

It's quite a paradox but I don't doubt that Bush's illegal destruction of Iraq are affording Iraqis the opportunity to democratize. Could it be that evil is required to destroy evil?

However, for Iraq to achieve a semblance of democracy, a long, long tedious process, we have to help to re-construct Iraq in the same manner we did for Germany and Japan. That's the only way forward today. Bush, to me is out of the equation. He's a destroyer, not a builder.

manuelbuencamino said...

DJB,

your last sentence - "But I doubt that anyone calim they could do it wihout America and the West and the values her people uphold."

Is this what you're getting at? -

" the source of the world's significant actions and life is in the West, whose representatives seem at liberty to visit their fantasies and philantrophies upon a mind-deadened Third World...[those] outlying regions of the world have no life, history, or culture to speak of, no independence or integrity worth representing without the West."   From Edward Said's description of colonial mentality.

Rizalist said...

Hillblogger,

Fair enough! Beyond Bush lies an awesome challenge for America and the world, certainly as large as the challenge that faced it after WW2. I suppose that all these difficulties will continue to be blamed on his administration for years to come. We must note that at least as of today, the Iraqi government accepts its own role in that process and announced intentions to take over security by year end. Though there is plenty of doubt they will be successful, there is the seed of a democratic Iraq, and behind it stands the United States. It is a project that America cannot afford to have fail. The American people's vast resources of material, ingenuity, determination and good will, and even pure national self-interest ensure its success. Unless of course isolationism regains the upper hand. Which would be foohardy and in the end, lethal to itself.

HILLBLOGGER said...

On MB's Edward Said's description of colonial mentality:

Ouch and ouch again and 80 million ouches more!

Oh well, never mind! Who was it who said, "The truth shall set you free"?

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

DJB, what’s chilling is HOW CLOSE WE ARE TO ARMAGGEDON. If the international community and UN will say that they are not affected by this prophecy they are in DENIAL. For the Jews and lot of us Christians, the issue is not Political but Biblical. For us it is not a question of how many nations will line up against Israel because the prophecy is that Israel will initially lose but at the end win. And I do mean THE END for the world as we know it. Because by then , it is GOD that will reign.
Israel is surrounded by its enemies. There are moderate Muslims but they are losing out to the radicals in the Middle East and around the world. Israel does not engage in terrorism but will fight back when attacked. And they will respond like they are doing now in Lebannon. Muslim Terrorist on the other hand employ terrorism of the worst kind – 9/11 in New York, 7/7 in the UK, 11/3 in Madrid 7/7 and countless other times.
And this is the CHILLING PART. If the armies of nations of the world congregate against Israel in the place of conflict then they will be fulfilling a Biblical prophesy that is a prelude to ARMAGGEDON. And that will be the end.
“Rev 16:16- ‘AND HE (or they) GATHERED THEM (the kings) TOGETHER INTO A PLACE CALLED IN THE HEBREW TONGUE ARMAGEDDON (or "hill of Megiddo").’ The kings and armies of the world are gathered together at this place. It is written, ‘THEREFORE WAIT YE UPON ME, SAITH THE LORD, UNTIL THE DAY THAT I RISE UP TO THE PREY: FOR MY DETERMINATION IS TO GATHER THE NATIONS, THAT I MAY ASSEMBLE THE KINGDOMS, TO POUR UPON THEM MINE INDIGNATION, EVEN ALL MY FIERCE ANGER: FOR ALL THE EARTH SHALL BE DEVOURED WITH THE FIRE OF MY JEALOUSY.’-Zeph 3:8.”
“Megiddo, today, is a large hill or mound of ruins from ancient times (also called a "tel"). It sits on the edge of a vast plain, known as Esdraelon or Jezreel Valley. Here, in this fertile farmland of northern Israel and extending through the Jordan Valley, the great armies of the world are expected to assemble for war. This area covers nearly 200 miles in length-ref Rev 14:20. “

It will not happen? Well, the prophecy also said that the whole world will see what is happening. AND WE ARE ALL SEEING IT NOW, AREN’T WE?
To Tony Blair, Hear! Hear! You can see things that other world leaders cannot.

baycas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
baycas said...

attacked...

Abe N. Margallo said...

The sound bytes and British accent are good. But Blair’s call is no less binladenish, a jihad against the infidels- them who deny his value system.

“Gotcha!” says Bin. “But you are welcome to my den.”

“Rubbish.”

HILLBLOGGER said...

BF,

Problem with Tony Blair is he saw things too late.

That hurrah in LA may well be his last.

What good could he do, now that his credibility is in tatters at the home front? He's on his way out in the UK. Nothing much he can do when he's unemployed.

I suppose America can always offer him US citizenship so he can run for office and replace Bush but even that is unlikely coz even Austrian Arnie Z whos's American now is barred from seeking the US presidency.

AmericanPainter said...

Abe,

Did we read the same speech?

Abe N. Margallo said...

Yes, AP, and Wall Street Journal too that derided Muslim “value system” by editorializing (Aug.3, 2006) about Hudood , under which, the editorial claims, Muslim women can be stoned for reporting her rape.

Meanwhile, America takes pleasure at the relentless public pillory of a powerful Hollywood icon (a fundamentalist Christian some say after producing The Passion of the Christ) for grousing under the influence (GUI): Fuck the Jews. Talk about disempowerment the modernized way.

Lest we forget, “Fuck the Draft” is a protected speech per Cohen v. California (1971).

Should one be willing to slaughter the innocents for this “global fight about global values”?

btw, HB, the latest I heard is that Tony is learning some Cha-Cha steps from Arnold while in California. America you know loves “American Idol” (and what’s the new one about America’s favorite dancers?) . . . those obnoxious and cute Brits, I mean.

cvj said...

BFR, regarding Armageddon, you may be interested in this http://www.alternet.org/story/39748. It's the American evangelicals who are the ones lobbying for the end times via a war with Iran.

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

If Armaggedon is to happen, the Bible says, it will not be in ways man will expect nor predict. In this scenario it will be ALL GOD ALL THE WAY WITH NO HUMAN INTERVENTION NOR AGENDA AND AT THE TIME HE CHOOSES AND NO MAN CAN PREDICT NOR CONTRIVE OR CONSPIRE FOR IT TO HAPPEN. IF AT ALL. IT'S UP TO HIM.

cvj, thanks to that link to alternet. I am a Filipino evangelical myself but I do not know Hagee and do not swear by him nor his followers. He is misled if he believes he can contrive or hasten Armaggedon. No human being can. While the Bible truly chronicles the events that will prelude it, the how, the when, the if ever, belongs Only to God. The only thing important to us Evangelicals is ASSURANCE OF SALVATION. Because if you have this assurance of seeing the Kingdom of God, it does not matter to you what will happen next in this present tribulations.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Let us skip the end of the world for a moment for we do not know or do not want to know when that is,it may be a milli second or a millenia away.

Concering Blair and Bush,we have given them their flack and we have cut them som slack but they will be out of office ,sooner than we think.
Blair as HB pointed out is on the way to the unemployemnt satatistics and less than two years
GWB will be on his way out too.

Whether we like it or not even if we ignore the US and the UK policies,we are somehow affected by them one way or the other,whether its blind admiration or blind hate or simply admiration or hate.

Who will replace Tony Blair and GWB.

I do not know much about UK affairs but in the US it seems that Condee Rice and Hillary won't be a long shot.
If ever it would be Hillary
will Hilary go back to the It's the economy,stupid! a statement creditted to her hubby.

Or if its Condee,what would be her catch phrase that cathches us all?


The next UK PM,will hopefully not be in the position of bended knees if you will, but it all depends on
which will come first,
Armageddon or US/UK elections.

By the way,
No disprespect meant BFR.

Karl M. Garcia said...

I have read hillblogger's blog about how many children must die before Israel....(I forgot).

If you said that we must look beyond the horrible things we see on TV,and consider the principles involved,what principles are there to ponder on upon seeing that the targets are the highways,the airports,the suburbs,and of course the chilren.

I still stand by what i said,thaty I won't side with either Hizbollah or Israel,
since the jews do not believe in hell, it would be useless to tell them that they will surely go to hell with their continuing missing of the intended targets.

And for Hizbollah,they would not care less if they hit Arab Israelis because they will consider it as friendly fire.

But as The Hill blogger said ,How many more children must die before this stops.

taga ilog said...

Sharing you from the bbc.co.uk


The poodle factor
from Nick Robinson's Newslog

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2006/07/the_poodle_fact.html



In Whitehall they call it "the poodle factor" - the widespread perception that Britain is America's poodle or, more specifically, that Tony "Yo" Blair is George Bush's. This is the only reason I can identify for the foreign secretary cutting up rough about US planes carrying bombs for Israel using Prestwick airport as a stopover.

The key question in this affair is: "Would the British government have said yes if the Americans had asked?"

The answer, I'm told, is "yes".

Indeed, the next few weeks will see more such flights. But under CAA regulations the carriage of dangerous goods has to be notified and in this case there was no notification. Failure to tell the authorities can result in a fine of - wait for it - £5,000. Hardly enough to cause even a transatlantic ripple.

Margaret Beckett is making a stand - making it clear that the UK should have been asked. It's an argument which might appear to be about mere process but is really about pride, politics and poodles.

This a day before Tony Blair turns up at the White House





related link:

[cutting up rough]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/5218036.stm

cvj said...

BFR, i'm heartened that you do not share Hagee's beliefs. I'm puzzled as to why they see the need to hasten Biblical prophecy as it betrays a lack of faith in the One who is suppose to fulfill it. There have been many attempts to interpret the end times in the context of current world events. Back in the 80's, i read Hal Lindsey's the 'Late Great Planet Earth' which said that the Anti-Christ will come from the EU. These would have been of passing interest if it were not for the fact that the current US President panders to them thereby wittingly or unwittingly triggering the end-times. If all of these terrible things come to pass under W's watch, what then does that make him (and Blair)?

Bernardo F. Ronquillo said...

Karl, ok lang, I am not offended. The fact is I did not want to bring out Armaggedon and "end times" but I know it is in the back of the minds of world leaders and I might as well bring it out, whether people believe it pertinent or not.

CVJ, if they identify who the Anti-Christ is, do not mind them. They've named about 10 people already and it proved wrong. No man can know, only God knows. Especially the question of when the end of the world is.

As far as my church is concerned the only important thing is assurance of salvation. When the end comes, as it surely will, WILL YOU ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD? Some people say that death is the end with nothing beyond, but for us death is taking the first step towards eternal life with JESUS.

DJB, did my church evolve? Yes, it is continually doing so. There is only one thing that will not change: The Gospel of the Saving Grace of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST.

Karl M. Garcia said...

BFR,
yes it seems to be in the back of the minds of some.

About anti christs,the narrator of the man who saw tomorrow said that it might be from the middle east
an its true,many more anti christ suspects followed.

lastly,
I agree that one thing wont evolve and that is the Gospel.